CURRENT PROJECTS

Blue Jay by Jessica Jasso
COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ON WILDLIFE 
 

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented impacts on human social behaviour. Air and ground traffic has been dramatically altered as a result of travel restrictions imposed on communities world-wide. This may have impacts on many species of wildlife, including mammals, resident and migratory birds, and many species at risk. We founded a research group that brings together ecological scientists from across the world who are studying these impacts on wildlife. For more information, see our website: https://www.c19-wild.org/

EFFECTS OF CONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS EXTRACTION ON GRASSLAND SONGBIRDS
 

Since 2010, we have run a variety of graduate student-led projects out of Brooks, Alberta that assess wide-ranging impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on grassland songbirds, including species at risk. Recently, we began marking populations by banding adults and nestlings of several species. We also collaborate with the Grassland Songbird Intiative (with members from Environment and Climate Change Canada, The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and The National Audobon Society) to work on full-annual life cycle modelling of grassland species.

CONSERVATION OF GRENADIAN BIRDS
 

Grenada is a small island country in the southern Lesser Antilles. Surprisingly little research has been done here to understand the unique avian community that occurs here. As a result, some of our conservation-related research here addresses really basic natural history knowledge – breeding period, nest locations and success, habitat selection, morphology and moult phenology. Like our other research projects, ultimately we plan to use this knowledge to help us conserve birds. We are particularly interested in how birds use the agroecosystem mosaic in the forested uplands.

EFFECTS OF ANTHROPOGENIC NOISE ON SONGBIRDS

Anthropogenic noise is an invasive and insidious pollutant that may impact behaviour, health, reproductive success, and survival of many species. We study its effects on songbirds using in-situ industrial infrastructure and through large-scale manipulative ecological studies. One of our focal areas is in southern Alberta, where noise from energy extraction infrastructure is pervasive. Our students have and continue to study effects of noise on abundance and nesting success, habitat selection, song structure, detection of songs and calls, territorial behaviour, genetic structure, stress, and survival.